The Menagerie Grows — A Wild Frog In The Fountain Joins The Snapping Turtle In The Tank

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

The other day Deanna noticed that we had a little frog living inside her metal, ‘girl-watering-plant’ fountain. I was concerned that it might not be able to get out. I didn’t have to worry. It can hop onto the shelf, as it now often does and suns itself. It is very cute. You can see it on the left, below the flower. This is unadulterated nature. We didn’t do anything other than place the fountain there — which we do every Spring. So, I am cool. We get frogs in that area. Every fall at least one decides to commit suicide by jumping into the nearby window well. That is deeper than the fountain. Plus it has brownish gravel in it. Come fall it also gets a coating of fallen, fall tree leaves. Any frog that jumps in gets automatically camouflaged. If they can’t jump out, they will eventually perish as the nights get colder. Then when we are clearing out the well we will discover a perfectly preserved, mummified frog — and the kids will take it to school for ‘show-and-tell’.

The fountain with the frog is just about a 4 feet away from the 15 gallon fish tank housing the now very tame snapping turtle ‘baby’. Danielle, my eldest, scooped the snapper from the lake in mid-June, when she was out on the paddle-boat with the other kids. The kids always wanted a turtle and we had two empty fish tanks and a turtle shelf from the prior turtle we had had about 7 years ago. So, I agreed to keep it until Fall. We looked up snapper care on the Web. They said that it will become tame very quickly. I was skeptical. I was wrong. It is like a little puppy. It knows us. Comes out to greet us when we move aside the top covering. Deanna catches all sorts of stuff for it; we are not sure of its gender. It likes grass hoppers and worms. I also have turtle pellets. It seems to be doing well. We pick it up. Put it in the large wading pool so it can stretch its legs. We let it walk. But, come September I am taking it back to the lake. Not going to try nursing it through the Winter. It should be fine. It will have a couple of months to get acclimatized.

So currently we have two goldens (14 months and 11 years), 3 rabbits, 6 fish, one snapper and one frog.

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